BALTIMORE—Abdulmalik Abdulla, age 37, and Ahmed Mohssen, age 53, both of Baltimore, were arrested today on federal charges of conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to illegally redeem food stamp benefits in exchange for cash. The criminal complaint filed today alleges that the defendants, who operate Sam’s NY grocery store on North Milton Street in Baltimore, received more than $1.5 million in federal payments for transactions in which they did not provide any food but instead split the proceeds with food stamp recipients. Federal agents arrested the defendants and executed search warrants at the store and related locations today. In separate cases, 10 defendants were charged with food stamp fraud in September 2013; four of those defendants have pleaded guilty, and the others are awaiting trial.
The criminal complaint alleges that the defendants exchanged EBT benefits for cash, typically paying half the value of the EBT benefits in cash. As a result of unlawful cash transactions, the defendants allegedly obtained more than $1.5 million in EBT deposits for transactions in which the store did not provide food.
The defendants face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud and a maximum of five years in prison for conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud. The defendants are expected to have initial appearances at 3:45 p.m. today in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.
War booty? Or just a propensity for defrauding Americans?